Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PEOPLEANDPLACES -

SATUR­DAY, July 11 was re­ally great. It was the vil­lage fair. I saw friends, had a pic­nic and caught up with my neigh­bours. On such a beau­ti­ful day what could be bet­ter than to watch the sunset, beer or Pimms in hand, lis­ten­ing to a free con­cert on the vil­lage com­mon.

When it came to the end, and peo­ple be­gan to wan­der off, I shook my pic­nic rug to clean off the bot­tle tops and leftover sand­wiches.

Some­one else kicked the empty bot­tles and cans into a heap. One bot­tle broke, so we all helped stamp on the bits and grind them into the grass so no­body would tread on a sharp bit.

Then we picked up our plas­tic bags of rub­bish, couldn’t re­ally be both­ered with schlep­ping them home, so car­ried them over to where ev­ery­one was leav­ing their bags in a big pile. Af­ter stub­bing out a last fag in the dy­ing light, we headed off.

A bril­liant night. Bit spoilt by some guys hav­ing a kick about with the rub­bish bags, but all in all, a pretty civilised way to spend Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Well, ac­tu­ally, this wasn’t me. But it is what hap­pened on the evening of Satur­day, July 11 in Chal­font St Peter.

For the last four years, Change 4 Chal­font, a lo­cal tran­si­tion group which cam­paigns on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, has helped with re­cy­cling at our an­nual Feast Day.

Re­cy­cling keeps waste out of land­fill, where it would pro­duce meth­ane, a very dam­ag­ing green­house gas.

So this is our mo­ti­va­tion for bin div­ing, sort­ing through yesterday’s take­aways, dirty nap­pies, and gen­er­ally en­gag­ing with the un­der­belly of our dis­pos­able so­ci­ety’s ex­cesses.

Each year, we lit­ter pick all day. It’s im­pos­si­ble to clear up af­ter dark dur­ing the evening con­cert, so vol­un­teers from across the vil­lage turn up on Sun­day morn­ing to deal with the moun­tains of rub­bish dumped the night be­fore, not to men­tion the tens of thou­sands of scat­tered cig­a­rette butts and bot­tle tops.

This ar­ti­cle is a rant about re­spon­si­bil­ity. When some­one puts the re­mains of their din­ner, their dis­pos­able cut­lery and any emp­ties into a plas­tic bag, ties a knot in the top and dumps it in a public place, they have ab­ro­gated re­spon­si­bil­ity for their mess.

The mere fact of be­ing at a public event does not jus­tify this. Af­ter such a fan­tas­tic day cel­e­brat­ing our com­mu­nity, take your rub­bish home to re­cy­cle, ev­ery­one! It is your stuff.

Deal with it.

Take your rub­bish home with you

With Erica Neustadt of Change4 Chal­font

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